How Affiliate Marketing Works – A Step By Step Guide For Beginners

Looking to make an income online? Got a computer / laptop and an Internet connection? Then Affiliate Marketing could be the simplest and quickest path to fulfilling your dream.

Here, youll discover the 6 simple steps that will take you from complete beginner to Affiliate Marketer in as little as 48 hours.


Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing system where a product vendor pays an affiliate a commission when someone buys their product. That someone having been referred to the vendor by the affiliate.

And it all happens online: You have a web presence, usually a website, that you attract like-minded visitors to, where you warm them up to the idea that the product youre promoting (as an affiliate) is the perfect answer to their pressing problem or need.

That product could be physical (books, CDs, DVDs, clothing, jewelry, natural medicines, etc.) or digital (e-books, e-reports, software, online courses / trainings, etc.).

When your visitor clicks on your affiliate link (on your site) they are redirected to the vendors site, where the vendor will close the sale; a lot easier after youve warmed them up! When your site visitor buys the vendors product you get paid a commission.

For example, if the product cost $100 and you get, say, 50% commission, youll get paid $50! And all for, basically, introducing someone with a pressing problem or need to someone who can fix that problem.

Affiliate marketing is ideal for beginners starting out online as it has a very low obstacle to entry: its a very simple course of action that doesnt need any particular technical skills, you dont have to have your own product, and it doesnt cost the earth to get started. In fact, you can get going for less than $20!

And, you dont have to do selling, or fulfillment, or keep stock, or deal with payment systems, and you dont have to deal with customers; the vendor does that.

All YOU need is an Internet connection and a computer / laptop and youre good to go.


Because affiliate marketing is so profitable for both affiliate and vendor, over the years many affiliate networks have sprung up to help both affiliates and vendors manage their affairs much more efficiently and easily.

Vendors can attract affiliates by advertising their products on these networks and affiliates can easily find products to promote. Once an affiliate decides to promote a certain product the network assigns an affiliate link / ID so that sales of that product can be connected back to the affiliate.

The affiliate network also takes on responsibility for managing the flow of money between vendor and affiliate either by electronic move or check. It also charges a small fee to both vendor and affiliate for the service.

There are many affiliate networks to choose from, but a beginner to affiliate marketing can easily get started with ClickBank and / or Amazon.


1. Choose Your Niche and Product

The first step is to decide which niche you wish to function in. A niche is a group of people with very similar interests, e.g. gout sufferers, broken relationships, looking for car insurance, how to make money online, etc. But, of course, it also has to have proven buyers in it in order to make money.

So how do you find a profitable niche with lots of profitable products you can promote?

A very quick way to do this is to search affiliate networks for niches that have several products that their stats tell you are selling well. If there are lots of products that are selling well, you now know that the niche is a profitable one, and, the buyers in that niche like those products.

In other words, theres no second guessing; you know for a fact that you can make money in that niche and you know for a fact which products are successful, unlike if you had to develop your own product!

Once youre happy with a product, you sign-up as an affiliate for it and are given a rare link that you place on your website. When a visitor clicks on that link they go to the vendors sales page where, if they buy, you get paid the commission stated to that product.

2. Get Your Domain Name

Before you setup your website you need to get a domain name based around your niche. For example,, Get the idea? This will become your website address.

Two of the most popular domain registrars are GoDaddy and NameCheap.

3. Get Hosting

Next, you need to get hosting for your website. This is where all your website files will be stored and secured. When someone enters your domain name in their browser they will be directed to your website.

There are very many web hosting companies out there, but you cant go far wrong as a newbie by going with HostGator.

4. Set-Up Your Website

You then need to set-up your website. This needs to be highly applicable to, and laser-focused on, your chosen niche and product. For example, having a website about arthritis and trying to promote a product that cures gout will neither rank well in the search engines nor make sales.

Although gout and arthritis are connected medically, most people dont know that, so theyll be searching for arthritis solutions or gout solutions and Google will present webpages on their search results that mirror that. So always stay laser-focused!

You need a platform or specialist software to build your website. The most popular platform today by far is WordPress which is free. Most good hosting companies like HostGator allow you to select WordPress directly from within your hosting control panel in just a associate of clicks.

5. Add Great Content

Theres a saying in marketing that content is king! I like to say that GREAT content is king! So the content on your website has to be highly applicable to, and laser-focused on, your niche, such that your site visitors get great value (and know they great value) from it.

For example, if your site is about gout you write content about what causes it, its symptoms, how its diagnosed, how its treated, any natural remedies, any specific diets, lifestyle changes, and so on. Give top tips, some recipes, the latest studies, news, etc. That is, keep adding value.

6. excursion Traffic (Visitors)

Now, you can have the best website in the world, the best product(s) to promote that will definitely, absolutely, help your target audience; but, if nobody ever lands on your site, you might in addition not have bothered!

So getting visitors (called traffic in Internet marketing) to your website is absolutely basic to your success and to helping all those people who are desperately searching for a solution to their problem.

Theres basically two ways to get traffic; pay for it or get it free.

Paid traffic is things like advertising on other niche websites, Google, Bing, Facebook, etc. You can also pay people who have large email lists in the same niche as you to send out a promotional email of yours to their list.

But paying for traffic may not be the best option when starting out because you really need to know what you are doing because its very easy to get burnt when you dont.

Free traffic comes from things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is the art of getting your website on page 1 of Google, Bing, and other search engines.

You can also get tons of free traffic from posting great content (with links back to your site) on Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. When people click on your link they end up on your website.

You can produce simple, short, YouTube videos that can excursion traffic to your site via your site link in the video description.

One very popular way to excursion free traffic to your site is to post comments on blogs and forums in the same or similar niche to you.

Another very simple way to get free traffic is by publishing short articles in Article Directories such as EzineArticles. The article youre reading right now is an example of this technique.

This also has the additional assistance that other website owners in your niche are allowed to copy and publish your article on their sites, but they must leave your website link intact so that you can get free traffic from THEIR site too!

So, heres your affiliate marketing checklist:

1. Choose Your Niche and Product

2. Get Your Domain Name

3. Get Hosting

4. Set-Up Your Website

5. Add Great Content

6. excursion Traffic (Visitors)

If youre a beginner to affiliate marketing dont be overawed by all this; it really is very easy to get going. Anybody, and I average anybody, who has an Internet connection and a computer or laptop can be up and running, ready to start taking commissions, in as little as 48 hours. And all without any past experience.

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